Nearly 400 mysterious stone structures dating back thousands of years have been discovered in Saudi Arabia. A few of the wall-like structures, which are being called “gates,” appear to drape across old lava domes.
The archeologists involved in the study aren’t entirely sure of the purpose of the gates. They were discovered primarily by satellite images, and “are stone-built…roughly made and low.” David Kennedy, a professor at the University of Western Australia said the gates “appears to be the oldest man-made structures in the landscape.”
“No obvious explanation of their purpose can be discerned,” he added.
Many of the gates have multiple stone walls that form a rectangular design, while other gates have only one stone wall with heaps of stone at each end, forming an “I.” Thousands of years ago, when the gates were constructed, the landscape was more hospitable to human life. Other stone structures, like buildings used to hunt animals, have been discovered in the lava fields. The gates appear to predate them.
While some of the lava flows came after the gates, many of them were also before.
To date, no archeological fieldwork has been conducted on the gates, though they were discovered through satellite surveys. That fieldwork is necessary to determine what the gates are.